Phil Leavitt

7Horse and Tales From the Hollywood Freeway

Phi LeavittShow Notes and Talking Points

Las Vegas roots.

Started out on piano, went immediately to drums.

Played in a lot of bands, including a cover band that played Hawaii, followed by a rough stint in Alaska

I first met Phil at an outdoor festival. Phil was the drummer in a group called Films About Women .
I was bassist/lead singer for a band called The Fever and we were also performing that day.
Phil was an ex-grade school student of our rhythm guitarist and main songwriter, Graham Becker.

So I got to hear Films About Women then and man, I know an exceptional drummer when I hear one.

Years later, Phil joined an amazing, high energy alternative rock trio called Dada. It consisted of Joei Calio, Michael Gurley and of course, Phil Leavitt.
They had an international hit with a song called I’m Going to Diz-Knee-Land. The toured extensively, opening for Sting.

Michael Gurley left to tour with Keifer Sutherland, causing scheduling problems during their 25th reunion tour.

We talked about Darius Dehger and the Special Deluxe Combo

The team behind the videos. The image, look and attitude behind 7Horse music. (Dada was anti-image”).

A little about Phil’s dad. The Bowler Hat. Present day peacocking. The Vegas influences. Liberace and Elvis.

Tales From the Hollywood Freeway
The Bob Dylan Story
The Bill Murray Story (and their super fan, Pro Golf Champion Scott Simpson)


Phil  Leavitt and 7Horse Links and Resources

7HORSE on YouTube

7Horse Facebook Page

NEW SONG: Stevie Ray Vaughn’s House is Rockin

Tour Dates:


Phil Leavitt Audiogram Preview

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Lisa Nemzo

A Woman of Two Passions:
Music and Polarity Therapy

A Conversation with Lisa Nemzo

lisa-nemzoDuring the 80’s, I bartended at a rock club called the Blue Lagune Saloon in Marina del Rey, California. I saw a lot of great bands during my time there, the Plimsouls, Etta James, The Moore Brothers (Joe Cocker’s backup band during the Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour), Billy and the Beaters, The Bus Boys; Kathy Valentine of the Go Goes celebrated her 21st birthday there to a virtual who’s who of the 80’s rock and roll elite. Yet one young lady stood out to me back then among all of these 80’s pop rockers and hard rocking’ and r&b bands. I’m talking about Lisa Nemzo. Today, on Tales of the Road Warriors!

Lisa Nemzo. She did this acoustic guitar solo during a song called Try and Run, in which she used harmonics to create an exciting instrumental break before going back into the final chorus. I was serving drinks to a thirsty audience; business as usual when she broke into that amazing solo. I stopped waiting on customers and just watched with my note open like everybody else who became  an instant fan that night .

Harmonics are  created by lightly touching the string and  then pulling away as you pluck or strum. A lot of us use them as an accent, but I had never seen anyone take it and run with it like that before. So, that became her signature.

She has toured Europe and the U.S. in several incarnations. Read her bio here to get an idea of the full scope of this talented lady.

In her other life, Lisa works as a healer in Polarity Therapy and works to raise money for the American Polarity Therapy Association. She is also an activist and works with war veterans to make sure they are not forgotten and receive the benefits and treatment they truly deserve. Some  folks talk about it. Lisa Nemzo is a doer.

Some of the things we talked about include:

Visiting the east coast.

The Weather – East Coast vs West Coast

Body surfing the Atlantic Ocean in Cape May

Boogie boarding in the Pacific Ocean

Lisa Nemzo’s dad’s secret musical life (What?!)

Lisa’s actress/singer mom/

Lisa’s first school play

Musical instruments in the family… piano, trumpet, coronet, baritone horn, clarinet, ukulele and guitar

Going to L.A. after college to pursue a jazz career, but ending up in a session with Mike Botts from Bread and starting songwriting career

Touring for ten years with no product (no album, no cassette, no cd… nothin’).

Harmonics. Getting schooled by Tom Rush and developing the Lisa Nemazo signature sound

A mentor teaches Lisa to survive as a female musical artist in a man’s world

Touring and or opening for Hall and Oates, David Crosby, BB King, David Lindley, Tim Weisberg and many others

Links and Resources

Strangers In Paradise

Listen On Youtube




Try and Run


“When it Comes to Love” Track 5 on UNLOCK MY HEART


(Lisa Nemzo Webisode #3)

Change of Tide Around 1985)


Arlington (and related links)




One Kind Word


New song…

“Wish I Had a Country to Go Home To”



Gina Kronstadt, violinist

Bruce Michael Miller worked  – with from 1985 and 2009

American Polarity Therapy Association

John Chitty

Current projects:

Lisa is looking for people to work with her on a video for One Kind Word

Lisa Nemzo Audiogram Episode Preview

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Jon Michaels

Lemons to Lemonade  

Jon is originally from Los Angeles, Where I met him. Well, Encino to be exact. About 1980. He had just recently come off a tour with the New Christy Minstrels which… fuck! I totally forgot to ask him about!

His musical influences  are Jim Croce and Harry Chapin. You can clearly hear that in his writing and performing. Both those boys would have been proud to count Jon as a protege.

Personal inspirations are His mom; wife, Jeannie; and Daughter, Jennings

“For the longest time, my sole concentration was on my music and to pursue my music career, I thought I had to be single and uncommitted. Today, I’ve discovered I can have both and it’s truly inspiring.”

And I can tell you, because I’ve known Jon a long time, and as one of his Facebook friends who reads his posts – he dotes on his family- BIG TIME!

Christina Pirello, a Philadelphia TV cooking show show hostess heard Jon play his music one night at the Bluebird Café in Nashville and invited him to perform on “Christina Cooks,” her natural foods cooking program on PBS. The response was so overwhelming that Christina invited Jon to sing on every episode. The show is carried by more than 150 PBS affiliates and has introduced Jon’s music and warm personality to a coast-to-coast audience. Talk about singing for your supper.

John reads the heartwarming account of his proposal to his wife, Jeannie, at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia. This is the stuff fairy tales are made of!

Lisa Nemzo, Keith Urban, Matt Kramer, At My Place, Ty Herndon, Ray Herndon, Tommy Emmanuel, David Kitay, Daniel McFeeley, David Foster, Today Show, Nashville, PBS, Bluebird Cafe, World Cafe Live, Cristina Cooks, Tin Angel, Philadelphia, South Carolina, Dove for Men, Merrill Lynch, Born to Explore, Richard Wiese, Explorers Club, Neil Armstrong, sally Ride, Teddy Roosevelt, agressor adventures, diving, Don McClean, McBride and the Ride, great white shark dive, dolphins, manta rays, kayaking, alligator,


John Michael’s Website

Jon Michaels Music Videos


CHECK PLEASE performed by Paul Jefferson



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Posted by Hal in acoustic, country music, entertainers, guitar player, open mic, rock and roll, singer songwriters, solo acoustic, 1 comment

Lee Totten

The Jager Guy

lee totten the jager guy

Lee Totten has been performing in several incarnations as solo acoustic act as well as with a full band. He’s one of the original contributors to the Tales of the Road Warriors section of Li’l Hank’s Guide for Songwriters, my award winning website during the nineties which is how we first met. We bonded online, but I later met Lee in person when he  flew out to California – – –  I was hosting the Acoustic Soup Open Mic and Showcase at the Book Grinders in Van Nuys. where he popped in and performed some of his originals songs. 

It’s been a long time since then, so in this conversation, we get caught up with a lot of things Lee’s been up to over the years and of course, he shares some of his very entertaining stories. He talks about the Jager Song and being the Jager Guy, his friendship with Kenny the Afternoon guy on Radio 104 in Connecticut and the advice he got from his old friend, Keith Garde, a former manager of Aerosmith after he expressed concern about being compared to Weird Al Yankovich.

You’ll laugh. You’ll cry, you’ll be a blubbering emotional wreck… okay, well, I may have exaggerated that last thing…

Lee and I had a pretty long conversation …. Regarding long interviews – I could use your input… would  you prefer I broke hour shows into a Part 1 and 2? Or do you prefer to get the whole conversation at once and pause it yourself?  I think there are pros and cons to doing it either way, so I’d appreciate it if you comment below or visit the Tales of the Road Warriors Facebook group… Facebook.com/groups/TalesWarriors

Lee Totten Audiogram Preview

Posted by Hal in acoustic, entertainers, guitar player, open mics, Road Warriors, rock, rock and roll, singer songwriter, singer songwriters, solo acoustic, 0 comments

Joe Walla

Joe Walla – The Million Dollar Man

First things first… a big shoutout to Joe Walla for allowing me to use his instrumental masterpiece  Playa del Spain, as the opening theme music  to the Tales of the Road Warriors podcast.

While freelancing as webmaster for an adult website,  I first met Joe when I accompanied my boss to a gigantic adult video, toy and clothing warehouse, where he shopped for items to stock his online adult store.

Sitting behind a desk in the sales office was Joe. He gave us each card that read

Joe Walla
The Million Dollar Man”.

You can hear me and Joe talkin’ about the porn industry, rockin’ and racing, open mics, biker bars, songwriting, reminisce about the old days and – get caught up on some of the stuff Joe’s doing now.

He also has a Youtube show where he combines the world of rock ’n roll with the combustible world of racing. It’s Called:
Rockin & Racing With Joe Walla and Chris Seaward

Discover Joe, listen to and buy his music on his official site:
Joe Walla Music on BroadJam

Joe Walla Audiogram Preview

Please add comments below!
I respond to all visitors personally

Posted by Hal in entertainers, guitar player, open mic, open mics, shredder, singer songwriter, singer songwriters, 4 comments

Tzach Gefen

Talkin Bout Israel… and Music

tzach gefenHey there fellow road warriors, siblings of road warriors, parents of road warriors, BFF’s, groupies – and all you good folks who keep us employed…

Got a great show for you!

Today, I’m talking about Israel and music with Tzach Gefen – one half of the team that hosts the TBI Podcast aka Talkin’ Bout Israel – and Stuff with his co-host: Mike Leibsohn

The TBI podcast is perfect for those who are planning to visit Israel, people who may be planning to go for an extended amount of time or those who have made Aliyah or are thinking about it. Maybe you just love Israel, Israeli music, or just want to live the Israeli lifestyle vicariously through Tzach and Michael – a couple of guys that live there, each sharing their own point of view.  (BTW – I noticed they’re doing a Hebrew version, now. At least for the last two episodes).

Tzach and I talked mostly about music. His music. My music, Israeli Music, Irish bars, Japanese music and we might have talked a little about the food, too.

As always… below the show notes on the Show notes page, there are links to all of the things we talked about. If you don’t want any spoilers, don’t look at the links below until you’ve listened to this entire episode. I promise you will be thoroughly entertained.

Usually, I play out most episodes with my original song – I’m Going For a Drive, but today, we’ll use about 30 seconds of guitar and harmonica that Tzach Gefen sent me.


Hadag Nahash
Hadag Nahash Youtube Channel

Meir Ariel
Meir Ariel and David Broza – At Noon

Israeli Music by Kaveret
Yo Ya -from the Poogy Album 1973

Hako Yamasaki

Meiko Kaji (the chick in Kill Bill)
Greatest Hits

Joe Walla
Joe Walla Official Website

Random links

If you enjoy Tales of the Road Warriors, please kick in some gas money and share with your friends!

Posted by Hal in entertainers, guitar player, podcast, Road Warriors, singer songwriter, singer songwriters, singing lifeguard, 2 comments

Johnny Koolrock

The Legend of Blythe

Johnny KoolrockAnd now, for something completely different… This past week, I accompanied the near-legendary James Lee Stanley to Teaneck New Jersey where he did a radio interview/live in-studio concert on WFDU with the host of the Traditions radio show, Ron Olesko. I had intended to interview James Lee for a future episode of the Tales of the Road Warriors podcast, but due to technical difficulties, I couldn’t complete the mission. However, on the way back home from the radio station, James and I talked about many things, and during the course of the conversation, among other things, we swapped stories about our past gigs. Which lead to me telling hime about something that happen to me, and it’s on of my favorite TALES OF THE ROAD WARRIORS!!!!

Hi Hal Aaron Cohen here… and welcome to the Tales of the Roadwarriors podcast. Don’t forget to get on the mailing list. There is no charge to subscribe, but if you’d like contribute a little something to help support the show, please click on the tip jar below.

Before I begin, let me make it clear that there was another Johnnie Coolrock, but he spelled his name differently.

J-O-H-N-N-I-E Coolrock with a C . He was an English rocker who had a hit in England in 1979. It was called Good  Girls and it’s actually pretty catchy. You can follow this link to listen to Good Girls by the OTHER Johnnie Coolrock.

This story is not about that guy… This is a story about me, and I spell it JOHNNY KOOLROCK  with a K, because at the time, I smoked Kool cigarettes, which is not something to brag about  – and I quit smoking years ago.

This happened on a road trip to Blythe, California to sell insulation. It also involves a rodeo, a bar in a bowling hour, an open mic night and the local, talented and beautiful girl.

No more spoilers. You’ll have to listen to the show to hear the story. You can stream it from the top of this page or on your favorite podcast app including iTunes, Pandora, iHeart Radio, TuneIn Radio, Google Play or Stitcher.

Posted by Hal in acoustic, entertainers, Road Warriors, rock, rock and roll, singer songwriter, 0 comments

Andy Cahan

The Most Famous Musician You Never Heard Of

Andy CahanToday I’m talking to Andy Cahan, who refers to himself as The Most Famous Musician You Never Heard OfWhich also happens to be the name of his soon-to-be-released autobiography.

Most of us that DO know him think of him as the keyboard player for The Turtles (aka Flo & Eddie).

I first became aware of Andy while he was doing a side gig as The Demo Doctor, producing demos for songwriters in his home studio. He ran an ad in the back of Music Connection Magazine for years and I never missed an issue; so eventually, I ended up recording some of my songs with him. then later he played piano on some cover tunes with me during my Acoustic Sundae nights at the Chimneysweep Lounge in Sherman Oaks, CA

When Andy learned about my fascination with the internet, he had me build his first website, eventually becoming a bit of a website builder himself. As it turns out Andy and I both use Weebly to build our sites, and if you’re interested in building your own site, I highly recommend Weebly. I’m also a Weebly affiliate… If you follow this link, you can easily set up your own free website. BTW, who you sign up for a paid plan, it helps support my podcast and website.

After a brief chat about online booking agencies, we talked at length about his upcoming autobiography. In it, Andy writes bout all of his exploits on the road with famous rockstars and he drops a LOT of names. No spoilers here, but if you’re really curious, I’ll sit some in a smaller, lighter font at the bottom of the page.

Andy also recounts some titilating stories, typical of rock and roll musicians in the 60’s. I was told by more than a few roadies that the road is like  Las Vegas (what happens on the road, stays on the road). I don’t think Andy got that memo.

He clearly revels in retelling the more salacious tales, and I was enjoying every second. FYI – this episode contains explicit language and some content not recommended for priests, rabbis or imams. Just sayin’.

If you enjoy Tales of the Road Warriors, please subscribe or join the email list. I promise I won’t spam you  or inundate you with lots of newsletters. I’m too lazy too put one out every week.

Note to Essra Mohawk: Essra, if you’re reading this or listening to this episode, you are cordially invited to be a guest on Tales of the Road Warriors if you’d like to respond to anything Andy Cahan may have said to piss you off. I’d love to hear some tales of your own.




Here’s are some of the names Andy drops in his book and in this episode:
Jimi Hendrix, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, The Turtles, Harry Nilsson, Jimmy Webb, Eric Carmen, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Seals and Croft, Dr. John The Night Tripper, John Bonham, Booker T, Steve Perry, Richie Hayword, Lowell George, Ed Cassidy, Frank Zappa, Martin Mull, Ray Bolger, Joe La La, Tim Bogert, Jimmy Carl Black, Buddy Miles, Steve Cropper, Gary Mallaber, Kinky Friedman, Walter Mathau, Jack Lemmon, Bumps Blackwell, Skunk Baxter, Lou Reed and Chubby Checker just to name a few

Andy Cahan Audiogram Preview

Posted by Hal in entertainers, keyboard player, Monkees, pianist, piano player, rock and roll, singer songwriter, the turtles, 0 comments

Tony Gamble

Tony Gamble GuitaristTony Gamble and I go way back. He was coming into the Chimneysweep Lounge in Sherman Oaks, CA on my Sunday night open mic nights before the 1994 Northridge quake, so we’ve known each other at least that long. He’d sit in. Play some guitar. Try out his  originals. On the other nights of the week, we’d often just hang out at the Chimneysweep and get shit-faced. I have a big box of pictures from those days, so I was able to include a couple of Tony and me on this page.

Tony was diagnosed a few years ago with Prothrombin factor 2, a rare blood clotting disorder. He goes into a little detail about it, and we discuss how shit like that can really slow you up, but we keep playing through it all. You know how it is. Anyway, I included a link to an organization called Stop the Clot in case you’d like to learn more about it or maybe contribute to finding a cure.

Tony first became know for his chops on the guitar. He’s what was known as a shredder” a guitarist with impeccable skills and playing speed. He taught guitar, wrote guitar instruction books and toured with rock bands throughout the world.  Unfortunately, Tony didn’t really want to talk about the more decadent period of his rock and roll life life, which would have made for great podcast fodder. However, as a friend, I didn’t want to press him to talk about those days. We mostly discussed what Tony has been doing lately, which is writing and recording new material for his latest project… an as yet untitled, but soon to be released album of original acoustic music for Warner Brothers Latin division. This latest project has ignited new passion in Gamble and he is very excited to talk about his latest creation.

Tony Gamble Tony Gamble and Hal Aaron

But this is Tales of the Road Warriors, so what I can do is give you a link to where you can read about some of Tony’s past experiences  for yourself, in his own words. There’s a link below to the RARWRITER site which will take you there. It’s quite an interesting read, which is alluded to briefly in our conversation. L.A. in the 90’s… good times!


City of Angels


Echoes In the Silence


Stop The Clot


Tony’s Story in RARWRITER


Posted by Hal in guitar player, Road Warriors, rock, rock and roll, shredder, ukulele, 0 comments

Kenn Kweder

The Not So Secret Kid

kenn kwederDuring the late seventies, while I was working as a singing waiter in Los Angeles and cutting my own teeth as a performer, I was missing a phenomenon in my own home town of Philadelphia… a guy by the name of Kenn Kweder. While I was bartending, bussing, waiting, and singing Beatles songs tableside to my customers, Kenn Kweder and the Secret Kids was taking Philly by storm on every stage in town.

Now here we are  in 2019 and,  Kenn Kweder, like me, is still actively gigging all over the tri-state area. He sometimes performs solo, sometimes accompanied by a friend or two, and occasionally with his full band, the Men From Wawa.

It wasn’t until the the past year or so that I became aware of Kenn Kweder, but through a mutual friend, Jim Fogarty, who occasionally accompanies Kenn, I began seeing his name in Facebook  posts and reading about him online. Eventually, I checked out some of the Youtube videos posted by his friends and fans – and I knew I had to talk to this guy.

This conversation barely scratches the surface of the nearl y mythological figure that is Kweder. There are much more in depth interviews, music videos and even a documentary or two you could  find floating around cyberspace. Just be prepared to be awestruck if you go down that rabbit hole.

In this episode of Tales of the Road Warriors, Kweder delivers some Kweder history and I did learn a thing or two about the East coast during the years I was out on the West Coast. Kenn recounted some very trippy times he spent driving Tom Waits around. We also swapped a few stories about playing different types of gigs and venues. Of course I was a much smaller fish in a much larger pond, so I can’t really compare notes on the same level.  But I can tell you this, we had a great talk and hopefully, we’ll do it again, because, as i said, we barely scratched the surface. Even now, Kweder 2.0 is making Kweder history.

Posted by Hal in comedy, entertainers, house concerts, not punk rock, Road Warriors, rock, rock and roll, singer songwriter, singer songwriters, sustainability, theater, 4 comments